Massive customization options for Overwatch are here with the release of the Overwatch Workshop tool. The surprise feature announced last month in a Developer Update allows creators who are confident creating scripts to make small tweaks to the existing game and even change the nature of Overwatch entirely. They can even share these creations with Overwatch Workshop codes!
Blizzard games have long been known for being highly customizable, from Starcraft 2 where fan developers made a Starcraft MMO, to the Warcraft 3 mod “Defense of the Ancients” that spawned the entire MOBA genre, giving us games such as League of Legends, DOTA2, and Heroes of the Storm.
With the nature of Overwatch and its rudimentary, existing customization options, few believed such functionality would ever come to the game. But now that it’s here, players are running wild — producing creations that run the gamut from helpful to hilarious.
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Build ‘Em Up, Break ‘Em Down
To aid players with the Workshop, Blizzard seeded it with pre-made modes such as Zombie, where all players but one begin as Soldier: 76 who has no ability other than to run away from Reaper. If Reaper shoots a Soldier player, they are also turned into a Reaper and need to hunt down others until there is only one Soldier left, who then wins the game. A look at the code allows one to see what exactly goes into turning one hero into another when shot, how to disable certain abilities, and so on.
Players have already been hard at work playing with these new tools and creating new modes over the last month while the Workshop has been on the PTR. With their testing, creators were even able to suggest changes and additions for Blizzard to make, many of which the company followed through with. The culmination of those improvements came out this week in the Overwatch Anniversary patch that celebrates the third anniversary of the game.
The following are just a handful of modes and creations that Workshop developers have come up with in that time, with some being updated all the time. You can try them out yourselves using the codes listed for each. Be warned, since a few of these are still works in progress, there may be bugs that require restarting the lobby in-game.
Pineapple__Squish‘s Target Practice is very straightforward, but has been one of my favorite creations so far. Players stand in one spot, shooting spheres which appear around the character and go away when shot, appearing in another random, nearby location. You can adjust the size and distance of the targets, too — it’s a great way to improve your aim.
Ana Nade Tool
As an Ana main, I generally have a good idea where and how to throw my Biotic Grenades to be most effective, but I’ve never taken the time to learn those “from downtown” shots to start a match off for some early ultimate charge against unsuspecting enemies walking out of spawn.
This tool by Darwin allows the user to point Ana in a certain direction and easily calculate where a grenade will land once thrown. Alternatively, Ana can be placed in one spot and you can then select where you want her grenade to land, with the tool giving you the necessary positioning. Note that this tool currently does not take into account various obstacles or walls that may be blocking the destination.
Looking for something less useful and more fun? Bored of playing Overwatch? Why not play UNO instead?
Created by /u/ochotonida, this is a surprisingly faithful recreation of the card game. Players are unable to move away from the “table” where cards are played, nor can they use abilities. Play goes around like a normal game of UNO, with your hand appearing in the top left of the screen.
The most recent version even features more visual effects, like freezing players on skipped turns and indicating that a player is on their last card by setting them on fire.
More of a tech demo than a useful game feature, user Lym has recreated Link’s famous fairy companion Navi in Overwatch to follow the player around. Pressing the Interact button even moves the camera in front of of the hero so it looks like Navi just yelled, “Hey! Listen!”
But Wait, There’s More
There are a few communities and websites already devoted to creating, testing, and sharing new Workshop material. The cleanest and easiest to browse is a repository created by ELO Hell Esports. The website is sorted to first show the most popular codes, and then lists the most recently uploaded one. Some of these creations are new game modes to test out, some are just portions of a project someone is working on. ELO Hell Esports has also created a fairly active Discord community attached to this project.
These are only a few of the games and modes people have already created. Who knows? Perhaps by the fourth anniversary event next year, we’ll all be playing something like Auto Chess instead of escorting payloads.